In a recent article, Food Safety News presented a timeline of the critical food regulatory activities that are scheduled to occur during the coming year. A few highlights:

  • As always, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) takes center stage, with the last two components (the Sanitary Transportation and Intentional Adulteration rules) due for finalization in the first half of 2016. In addition, compliance due dates for already-finalized rules will start to arrive in September.
  • 2016 will also see the elimination of mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) for meat products such as beef, pork, and chicken. The mandatory requirements were repealed last year by Congress. Although there is a provision to institute a voluntary labeling initiative, many doubt its effectiveness (in an opinion piece for EcoWatch, Wenonah Hauter summed up this skepticism with the statement “in practice, a voluntary COOL label is the same as no label at all.”).
  • Finalized in 2013, the FDA’s guidance on Judicious Use of Antimicrobials on food animals (Guidance #213) will go into effect towards the end of the year. The guidance requests that animal pharmaceutical companies voluntarily remove growth claims from medically important antibiotics. This will effectively limit the administration of these products for nontherapeutic purposes, and help to promote veterinary supervision of their proper application. Many companies have agreed to participate in the program, but the overall impact and success of the project remains to be seen.

To read the full 2016 forecast, please click here.